I really try not to be some sort of elitist, but the my elitism kicks in and I get annoyed. The crowd for Calvin Harris at Bowery was overrun with creased-brim ballcap bros and girls who looked like Heidi Montag? Had I somehow accidentally ended up at a Webster Hall club night? The opening DJ, Burns, made it seem like it, playing a predictable set that included "DVNO," "The Music Sounds Better With You," "Robot Rock," and Mylo’s "Drop the Pressure." What fresh hell was this?
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised Calvin Harris is popular beyond higher-than-thou types like myself. His songs are big, obvious dance tracks, made for maximum enjoyment and butt-shaking. Why would I be the only one to like it? Still, the bankers-n-babes crowd was annoying. But it all pretty much went away when Calvin took the stage. He’s a 6′ 5" party machine with a tight band and everyone pretty much ate it up. (I think last year’s show at Mercury Lounge was better, though. Again, the elitism.) There was a little too much crowd-pumping for my taste ("Come on New York!"), especially when it seemed people were pretty pumped as it was.
Save for four songs we got all of I Created Disco plus two new songs that seem like Calvin’s work with Kylie and Roisin Murphy has rubbed off on him. "Back Door" and "Jerusalem" were full-on Eurodisco, complete with sweeping strings and Haddaway-style piano and if the crowd’s reaction to them was any indication, just might kill off the jock-jam loving portion of his American fanbase. Bring it on.
Setlist: Conjoined Skin | Certified | Disco Heat | This Is The Industry | 80s | Merrymaking at My Place | Neon Rocks | Back Door | Jerusalem | Colours | Vegas. I
Created Disco | The Girls
I wasn’t really close enough to get good pictures, but I do like the one I took found above. Calvin’s all a blur but right in the middle of it is a clear-ish shot that looks like he’s staring straight at the camera. Spooky.